As a coaching team, we regularly sit down and discuss how we can advance our service to help golfers of all abilities. Whether this is introducing day with a pro, beginner classes, supervised practice sessions with Trackman or informative clinics.
With the introduction of Trackman 4 in Late 2015, coaching and fitting advanced into a more informative session for the coach and the player.
After going to a number of CPD courses, training days and coaching seminars with some of the world’s best coaches, we were becoming aware of more advanced coaching technology. We were at a coaching course with Liam Mucklow and Carson Hau from the ‘The Golf Lab’, who are one of the most recognised users of high-quality teaching technology. Being taught how each equipment was measuring data, what the data meant and how to influence change in those numbers was a valuable learning experience. This triggered the pursuit of “how can we advance the teaching and learning experience through technology”.
Over 3 months, we embarked on a testing stage with major golf technology brands, all of which were being used by some of the world’s best players, coaches and recognised facilities. This is where we found Swing Catalyst, K-Motion and GC-Quad.
Swing Catalyst is a pressure plate, which we integrated into the floor of our new teaching suite. It measures where your foot pressure is throughout your golf swing. Pressure is a brilliant measure of what is happening in your feet, because we cannot see just using our eyes or camera. In the pictures below, you can see at two points in the golf swing, my pressure changes in my left foot quite drastically, but the 2D video looks very similar.
We can also look at your vertical force, which is really pertinent if you are looking to generate more club head speed. If you are interested in learning more about vertical force and club head speed, me and Rob explain it in this video with our very own Harry Brister from Bawburgh… he smashes it!
Another massive benefit of using this system, is the integration of 2 live cameras. These cameras were selected for their high frame rate, which means no matter how fast you may swing the club, we can go into real slow motion! Also, the cameras have a ‘global shutter’ which means the picture we get is not distorted or curved. A normal camera with a ‘rolling shutter’ can sometimes give the appearance that the shaft is bending/flexing lots, our camera shows exactly how much it is bending or flexing.
We can save videos of your swing, along with all your pressure data, to our massive computer, so we can track changes over a longer period of time. We can also share these videos with you in a form of a screencast, which we talk over the video of the main coaching points of the session.
Another upcoming technology for coaching golf is 3D Motion Capture. 3D is used in a variety of sports to measure your body movements and help you learn a new body movement. One of the main negatives to 3D Motion Capture, is its long setup time and often intrusive feel, for example wires being attached to the skin or bone.
K-Motion takes minimal setup time and involves you wearing a vest, belt and arm attachment. In these, we tuck in a little sensor which gives us all the magic numbers and data. It is lightweight to wear, does not restrict the golf swing and is very accurate.
For us coaches, it gives us a lot of data on how you move your body in the golf swing, which otherwise we would have to guess using video. Rob shows us a great example of this, in his 3D video with one of his lessons.
However, it isn’t just for us coaches to measure and understand your swing. One of its most useful features is the biofeedback option. We set the parameters of where we would like your golf swing to be, you move into that position and you get a feedback reward of angels singing! We have had so much positive feedback with this and really helps the golfer understand what feel is required to get into the correct position. If you would like to find out more about bio-feedback, check out our video in which I helped Rob with his golf swing.
We have had Trackman4 for a long while, for coaching and fitting – we LOVE it! It gives us high quality, measurable ball data and is used by most of the top professional golfers and coaches. However, we were introduced to GCQuad and also fell in love with that! The big difference is how both these systems measure the club and ball.
Short answer, Trackman uses a dual radar system and GCQuad uses 4 optical cameras. Using radar is argued to be advantageous for ball data. Optical cameras are argued to be advantageous for club data. This is why we invested in GCQuad and not another Trackman… why have two of the same units when you can have a real variety and select which one to use based on the requirements of the golfer/session? For more information on the difference between both Trackman and GCQuad, check out one of my other blogs (https://peterfieldgolf.uk/the-difference-between-trackman-4-and-gcquad/).
We can count on one hand, the number of centres or golf clubs in the UK who have access to 3D, pressure and two of the best launch monitors.
With my background in performance analysis, working with technology and numbers which inform coaching practice is very familiar to me. It is our job as a coaching team to fully understand how each technology is measuring data, what each data point means (definition) and how we can influence them. Without this, we are simply adding technology for the sake of looking intelligent!
This is why we are continuously investing in certifications and certified workshops, as well as coaching seminars from some of the world leaders in golf coaching. We are investing in our knowledge, so when you invest in us, we have the tools and capabilities to impact your golf.
If you would like to know more about how we use technology in our coaching, subscribe to our PAR Academy Coaching Newsletter, which goes out every Wednesday and contains a video and blog around our coaching (CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE http://eepurl.com/gw6B1L).
If you have any questions about technology, the golf swing, or just want to chat some golf, get in touch with myself or one of the team today.